GMAT Club

Graham Balch Reviews

Company: EXPARTUS


5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 6 reviews
May 04, 2019
gmatwarrior9117

Joined: Apr 22, 2017

Posts: 1

Kudos: 2

Consultant, mentor, friend. Top Notch

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My engagement with Graham goes a long way.

About 2 years before my B-School application, I was still deciding whether or not to go to B-School. I knew roughly what I wanted to do after B-School, but didn’t know how to best position myself and what school really suits me.

So I first signed up for Expartus’ early start package. I really loved the expartus personal branding exercise and how Graham facilitated me through it. I felt like I was not just preparing for a B-school, but reviewing my overall life & career goal in general – from early childhood to date, family background etc.

And that’s also what gave me confidence to continue working with Graham with the actual school application. I felt that he knew me very well, and was able to bring out strong points/stories from my background, beyond just ‘hard stats’ like GPA/GMAT etc., in a genuine manner. This, I believe, is what helped me to get into my dream B-School.

Graham also went beyond expectation many times. In addition to taking many early morning calls due to the time difference, he even gave me useful materials (e.g. leadership articles, interesting materials and even connections that are relevant to my long term goal etc.), or simply short term career advice that’s still relevant to my long term goal post B-School.

Graham is also a very critical, principled and honest person. He won’t hesitate to call out any weakness in your application, and recommended practical approaches on how to fix it.

I genuinely feel very lucky to have met and worked with Graham, and sincerely hope there are many more applicants in the future that can be helped by him as well. Thanks Graham & Expartus!

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April 29, 2019
LirenHua

Joined: Apr 29, 2019

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Graham from Expartus is Awesome! Highly Reccomend.

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I decided to hire a consultant because I was working a very time intensive job outside my home country (with a big time difference), preventing me from relying on family and friends as my sounding board during the application process. After interviewing several consultants I decided to go with Graham/Expartus because I liked his focus on what Exapartus calls "personal branding." Graham's goal was to help me dig deep to understand why I really wanted business school, who I am both inside and outside of work, what makes me a unique candidate, and how to sell that to my business schools of choice. I also liked his emphasize on being genuine and honest in all aspects of the application process. Graham explained that business schools just want you to be yourself: they want to understand how you have excelled in your career so far, what your want for your future career, and how their program can help you achieve those goals.

This process orientated approach helped me get into three out of the 4 top schools I applied to with $40,000-$60,000 scholarships at each!

Graham also provided insight into what each school was looking for. This was helpful in my school selection and choosing what aspects of my "Personal Brand" to highlight in each application. Since I was working a pretty stressful job while navigating the admissions process, he also helped keep me accountable for deadlines. He pushed me to always try to do better and keep polishing essays and answers to tough interview questions. Whenever I felt down and insecure about my acceptance prospects, he helped buoy my confidence.

In addition to success in getting into my top schools, I also found going through this process with Graham helped me learn more about myself and confirm that business school was the right next step for me. It also allowed me to stop and take inventory of my life to date and to reflect on my time working & living abroad. I feel like I have a better understanding of who I am as person and what I want in the future after navigating the application process with Graham. As the start of my first semester approaches, I think this will help me be a more successful MBA student.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
April 08, 2019
Daisyluver9

Joined: Mar 28, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
650 Q35 V44

Above and Beyond

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I came to Expartus after being disappointed in the surface level help from another firm and was looking for a company that would partner with me to discover what made me unique and then how to articulate that in a holistic review of my applications. That's exactly what I found with Graham.
The Expartus process starts with a deep dive into your story to discover and craft your "personal brand" which informs the months of work to come. More than just a good process, Graham went above and beyond the purely professional requirements. He believed in my potential when I doubted myself, pushed me to never accept "good enough", and brought insightful ideas and thoughtful edits to the content in my essay. I felt like he became a friend and truly cared about my success and celebrated with me when I got into my dream school. I cannot recommend him and Expartus enough.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
May 27, 2018
FFF

Joined: Mar 15, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q47 V42

Admitted with Graham Balch

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After informational conversations with various consultants, I decided to collaborate with Graham because I felt that he will give me the personalized help and guidance I needed. Even in the initial conversations with him, I was surprised how well Graham was able to help me recognize and reveal personal characteristics and skills and integrate them into a conclusive Personal Brand. Creating a Personal Brand was essential in articulating and presenting myself in an authentic, consistent, and compelling manner throughout all essays and interviews. In addition, I feel that collaborating with Graham helped me be more aware of myself and that the advantage of this increased self-awareness goes far beyond an admission offer from an elite MBA program. It will help me be a more responsible, empathic, and wise partner and leader for others. In the end, I was admitted to several elite MBA programs. After placing me on its waiting list, my most favorite MBA program also gave me an admission offer that included a generous scholarship. I want to thank Graham for his great advice and encouragement that made this accomplishment possible and that let me grow both professionally and personally.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
May 08, 2017
amenani

Joined: May 07, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
740 Q49 V41
740 Q49 V41

Amazing Experience with Graham

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I chose to work with Graham after a few informational calls with other consultants and I knew he would be great at getting me the personalized help I need. Graham is attentive, professional, and very good at getting to my story.

I really appreciated our first few sessions where we talked about all my life experiences (not just the successes), career goals, and what's important to me. The Personal Branding approach taken on by Expartus and Graham really helped me articulate my story and set me up for all my applications, including the ones that I completed myself in Round 2. Graham was very flexible in finding time for discussions, and went above and beyond in giving me opportunities to tap into his network to help me define my career goals.

I enlisted Graham's help for Round 1 with a two school package. In addition to helping me set up the backbone to all my applications, Graham actually read through my applications and set-up interview preps for the schools I applied to on my own. Ultimately, I was admitted to one of my dream schools and will be matriculating at a Top 10 MBA in the fall.

I think working with Graham is great for those who are willing to work hard and really want some good advice (and counselling) throughout the application process. I actually really appreciated the fact that he won't hand-hold, but will set expectations upfront, and be there whenever I needed help or some encouragement (the one thing I would say would be true for probably all consultants is that they get really busy towards application deadlines, which was a little stressful for me to not have full control, but I'm pretty sure Graham stayed up past mid-night to go over my and others' app during those weeks and made sure to answer my last-minute anxiety induced questions. If you are good at managing timing and expectations you would have no issues). He is very good at pointing out BS and tell me that something isn't working when it isn't. I felt that I dug deeper into my story and reached out to more contacts for advice and opinion at his encouragement, which ultimately helped me in more than just the application process.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 18, 2016
admitme123

Joined: Dec 18, 2016

Posts: 1

Kudos: 5

Verified score:
750 Q48 V46

Personal, Professional, Practised

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From our first conversation Graham had a knack for opening me up and teasing out stories from my past that I hadn’t thought of in years. His open style allowed us to cover a large range of topics before honing in on what was really important to me and therefore what belonged in my application. Graham was consistent and reliable throughout all of our many conversations and we had a personal relationship that enabled us to speak of many things outside of my MBA. He even met me in person when I visited my target school. In addition to advice about my application Graham introduced me to several of his contacts in my chosen industry to whom I was able to speak prior to submitting my applications. Crucially these were people in senior positions that could give valuable, thought provoking insight.

In terms of the MBA application specifically Graham’s knowledge was particularly useful from two perspectives. Firstly he helped me maximise the value of every word in my essays. Secondly he knew exactly what the different admissions committees would and wouldn’t like from a cultural perspective, which was particularly useful as an international student because it ensured that my sense of humour came across as a strength rather than a liability.

I got in to my top-10 target school and will be starting next year! Looking back now from the end of the line I struggle to find fault with how Graham handled the entire process and can only express my thanks for everything he has done for me.

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